Despite another week of a weakened bowling attack, South Wilts 3rd XI continued their run of impressive bowling performances, which shows the current depth of bowling in the club in the lower teams. The batsmen also turned up for a second week in a row to despatch lowly Littleton and West Hill 1st XI by 8 wickets.
Littleton won the toss and decided to bat on a much improved batting track from previous years. The afternoon was hot and the scorched outfield was lightning, giving added value to balls going through the inner ring. Once again, as in previous weeks, the batting side set off at six an over for much of the innings and at one point looked like achieving a score closer to 250. They were poised at 101 for 2 after 18 overs with two batsmen set: Falkingham (30) and Louth (60). Ben Fisher had opened the bowling well with just one wicket for nineteen runs from five overs, but the South Wilts bowling struggled to create any pressure. It wasn’t until a stunning catch in the nineteenth over from Jack Stearman off Sam Burton’s bowling did the course of the match change. Paul Wylie (4 for 25 from 8 overs) and Ed Wade (3 for 26 from 7 overs) did the damage as Littleton and West Hill collapsed to 175 all out from 36 overs.
The South Wilts top order chased down the runs at a canter led by Darren Sargent with an imperious 80. He and Alex Lloyd (37) put on 112 for the opening stand. All-rounder Ed Wade (36 no) and Ben Richards polished the total off with little trouble, leaving the visitors on 176 for 2 from 34 overs.
Next week South Wilts 3rd XI track across the county to face Steep 1st XI in a top of the table clash that will decide whether either team has a realistic chance of promotion. With both the bowlers and batsmen in fine fettle it should prove to be an enthralling encounter.